So with miniatures in mind, lets take a look and then discuss...
The forces of Sigmar himself have certainly been given a refresh. We've seen this in every successive update for Ao$ so far - the Stormcast get tabbards, then they get more dynamic poses and units, and now probably the biggest change yet, we have Warhammer miniatures in a much more "true-scale" form than the traditional Heroic-scale" size most Fantasy games have been using since the 1980s. Look at the longer limbs, with better proportioned torsos and heads. Just from what we can see here, if you compare them to Liberators, you can see the change and it will be interesting to see how they all fit together in the one army. There's some very interesting design nods here; the almost Elder-like mask on the Knight-Arcanum, the appearance of beards on some of the Stormcast helmets and elongated hip armour across the board. With three new troop types; the elite Praetors (perfect for bits swap on your Custodes), the tank-ish Annihilators and the line infantry Vindictors, the Stormcast have added some great new minis to their range.
Just when you thought it was safe to go for a nice stroll in the swamp, the Kruleboyz Orruks turn up. Following the Ork God Mork, these are a whole new breed of Ork. Less like the traditional GW Orcs and much more like the Orcs in Lord of the Rings, these have obviously followed some of the very popular design cues established from the Brian Froud world, much like the Gloomspite Gitz. With these Orruks having a new look, they do hark back to an older age - in fact their shields go way back to the original Warhammer miniature release of Orcs and Goblins, with the red faced fang showing shield again making an appearance. The Kruleboyz have three main infantry troops, the ranged Boltboyz, the line infantry Gutrippaz and the reappearance of Hobgoblins in the form of Hobgrot Slittaz. It's been many a decade since Hobgoblins were in the GW range. If anyone else thinks Great Gnashtoof looks a bit like Skeletor's mount, Panthor, then we're both showing our age!
The Beast-skewer Killbow is a heavy weapon for the Kruleboyz designed to take out line infantry and monsters - which the Kruleboyz also employ in the form of the Breaka-boss on Mirebrute Troggoth, a truly impressive model and probably one of the real standouts in this range.
As for the box, it's pretty cool. For us the Orcs don't really work as any kind of real selling point - the look is a bit too different, but also seems cobbled together from LoTR. The old shield is cool though! The Stormcast are again a further evolution which improve the look of these pretty bland miniatures greatly. Both heroes in the sets are interesting, and the comparison between Yndrsata and Sanguinus from WH30K is pretty fun. It should be pointed out the number of female models in the Stormcast range. This is huge and a great addition for inclusion for all hobbyists in the game. It will be interesting to see if this carries across to any Empire faction infantry forces that may come along in the future. Shieldmaidens in Vikings have opened up the idea in many people's minds of how women in ancient times did fight and die in battle, and this happened across multiple civilisations across the world at various points.
So, is this box on the shopping list? We'll probably give it a miss, unless some splits turn up on FB.
Let us know what you think.